Category: Presenting

Speaking at SQLRally

I was fortunate enough to have one of my favorite sessions chosen for PASS SQLRally 2012 in Dallas.

I’ll be there presenting “PowerShell: Are you checking out my profile?”

I’ve given this presenation a couple of times in the past and it’s always been a lot of fun as it generally creates a lot of interaction with the audience. Hopefull you can join the audience this time and join me at the SQLRally on May 10th and 11th in Dallas (and don’t forget there are several great pre-conference all day sessions for you to attend).

I’m scheduled to be in the final slot of the day on Thursday 10th, so come see me before going to get your Gelato.

Presenting at SQLSaturday #89–Atlanta

I’m very excited to be going to Atlanta on September 17th and presenting at the SQL Saturday event being held there. I was lucky enough to get two submissions accepted.


Centralized auditing of permissions with SQL Server

As a DBA it can be a challenge to know who has permissions to what SQL instances and what objects. The more instances you have the more complex that task. In this presentation I’ll share a method using PowerShell and TSQL that can be used to capture permissions from all of your SQL instances and load them into a centralized location. We’ll even take it a step further by auditing those permissions so that we can quickly and easily identify any that might have changed.


PowerShell: Are you checking out my profile?

PowerShell is a very powerful management tool and you can spend hours writing magical scripts to provide automation for frequently run tasks. Often forgotten is the PowerShell profile, a place you can add your own functions which can provide you lightning fast access to information. In this session we’ll talk about the power a profile puts at your fingertips. I will also demo (and share) several PowerShell functions that I use frequently for common tasks like checking database backups and disk space. I’ll show you my PowerShell profile if you show me yours.



There are a grand total of 17 MVP’s presenting that day. I’m frankly stunned I have to opportunity to be in rarified company and be able to speak myself (in fact my first session I’m up at the same time as 7 MVP’s so I’m expecting a quiet room). It should be a blast though, be sure to say hi if you’re there. I might even sneak in a preview of my PASS Summit Lightning talk.


Such fun.

Speaking At PASS Summit 2011

I’ll be speaking at the PASS Summit 2011 coming up in just over a month.

“Wait…what?” I hear you say, “you said in your blog post that you were not going to be presenting”.


Well a couple of weeks ago PASS opened up the opportunity for folks to submit lightning sessions (5 minute talks on a subject). I submitted 4 of those and one of them was selected:


PowerShell: It’s your new BFF

PowerShell wants to be your bestie. Please accept PowerShell’s friend request and put it in your circle. Find out why you should.


Mine is just one of 24 lightning sessions that have been selected, check out the others at


Hope you’ll find the time to swing by at least one of the lightning sessions. They are a lot of fun.


Not Presenting At PASS Summit 2011

Sadly neither of the two sessions that I submitted for the PASS Summit 2011 were chosen and so I won’t be presenting. I’m not going to claim that I am not disappointed because I am. I felt that I had a really good chance of being chosen, but when there are 649 abstract submitted and only 111 slots available someone is going to miss out. This year I was one of the majority that didn’t make it.

I’m not disheartened, I’ll continue speaking at other events this year and next and already plan on submitting sessions for next years Summit.

I will, however, be at the Summit this year. I paid for my submission early in the year and got a significant discount on the price…which reminds me, go register now and save $600 on the full admission price.

There are going to be some fantastic speakers and sessions, including half-day sessions for that deeper dive (don’t take my seat in Bob Wards session if you know what’s good for you). Don’t forget there are 2-days of precons this year. I know my buddy Aaron Nelson (blog|twitter) would love to spend a day talking your ear off about PowerShell.

Hope to see you there, and to enjoy watching you entertain everyone at SQL Karaoke!

Speakers Third Rule

You’ve mastered the first rule and have submitted a session to present at a SQLSaturday, local user group or at your office, excellent. Your presentation is written, all the details are there…slides, demos and you’ve got your patter. You’ve followed the second rule and the presentation is all you. What’s next?

Practice makes perfect



Time to run through your presentation multiple times so that you know it well and can give it without any problems.

You might have a demo heavy session and need to practice those demos over and over, getting them just perfect. It could be a presentation that’s all theory with multiple slides; run through them, know what’s on each, understand each statement that you have put out there. Do you smell BACON?

It really doesn’t matter the kind of demo just practice it over and over again. Drive your dog crazy by holding it a captive audience as you present while holding a strip of bacon just out of reach.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a dog as a cat, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or fluffy bunny rabbit will work just as well.

The more you run through your presentation the more comfortable you will feel with it. This comfort is going to be vitally important for when you first get up in front of that “live studio audience”.

When those nerves kick in (and they will) you’ll have the mind muscle memory to carry you through. After all you practiced it until it was second nature to present, there’s not going to be anything to worry about come presentation time…right?

Speakers Second Rule

After writing a post for Un-SQL Friday on the first rule of speaking I decided that it would make quite a good series of posts, so here’s my second rule of speaking:

Find your own voice


What do I mean by this?

As an analogy when I first started out blogging I tried to emulate other writers in the community. In doing so I felt it very difficult to get across what I was trying to say. The message was lost in my trying to be someone I wasn’t. In addition I found it a real chore to write anything and pretty soon gave up posting.

My second attempt at blogging was a great deal more successful, at least it feels that way. Instead of trying to copy the style of someone else I am writing in my own voice. Whatever sentence structure I come up with is what I use. I don’t find it a chore to get words down, I feel like my message gets across and I am a great deal happier in the Don’t be this guythings that I publish.


Speaking is no different. Sure, you could try to emulate Buck Woody (blog|twitter), Brent Ozar (blog|twitter) or Sean McCown (blog|twitter) but I wouldn’t recommend it. Each one of those speaker is very different in the way that they present. Each has a very clear way of putting the message across and each one does so in a way that captures your attention. They have built their styles from years of presenting in their own voice. They are all very comfortable in how they present, they do this by being themselves.

Taking a lesson from my blogging experiences I decided that my presentations would be in my voice. I would present them in a way that I felt comfortable. By using my voice I knew I would never be outside of my comfort zone. Think about trying to talk like someone else, then add in a technical aspect. Now imagine fifty people are watching you try to be someone you’re not.

Stomach churning yet?


Presenting is going to be challenge enough for you at first. Go in being yourself, it’s worth it.

Un-SQL Friday #004–Speakers First Rule

I may be a day late and a dollar short for Un-SQL Friday #004: Speaker Lessons Learned but still felt I had something to share.

One of my favorite book series is The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. The first of the 11 book series is called Wizards First Rule. It’s one of those oft rehashed tales of someone ordinary who turns out to be anything but. One of the things passed along was the first of a series of rules about magic. It made me think of speaking and the rules around that.

There are numerous rules (sure, you could call them guidelines or pieces of advice but we’re playing semantics here so go with it).


So here’s rule #1…

Don’t be afraid, go for it!



Such a simple rule. So often I read tweets from folks who talk about wanting to be able to present and wishing they could do so. There are people who really want to speak at the PASS Summit but haven’t submitted a session because of fear.

Fear of public speaking, making a mistake, things going wrong and rejection are all valid reasons why people get scared to submit their first session. It’s why folks don’t submit for their user groups or local SQLSaturday events. It’s why you may even be too nervous to present on a subject to team members at your company.

I get that, I’ve been there. You know what though? I decided I wanted to present and that ultimately I wanted to present at the Summit. To do that I had to get started. I chose my first event and submitted a session. Things went well the first time, not so well the second. I’ve had (what felt like) a complete disaster in a session and yet I’m still here, still standing and I’ve submitted to present at this years Summit. Whether or not I get chosen doesn’t matter at this point, the chief thing is that I tried (see getting over the fear of rejection).

I managed to conquer my fear, I know that you can do that same. What’s the worst that can happen?